"Is the automation making us safer?" This question is coming up with increasing frequency as the industry looks to increasingly levels of automation to solve a host of different technical and business challenges that we are facing. Previous papers have looked into such questions as the appropriate level of automation, mode confusion, and envelope protection approaches. This paper looks at a more basic problem: Are we able to precisely articulate what it is we want the automation to do and rigorously trace these requirements down to their granular point of implementation?
The author is currently working as the consultant to a shipyard that is producing a high-specification jackup rig for operation in the North Sea. This rig contains ten major software systems made by several different suppliers and their subcontractors and divisions. Making sure these major rig systems work properly together in critical situations has traditionally been quite difficult. Detailed requirements are scattered throughout thousands of pages of dozens of different specifications. Accurate manual tracking of these requirements is extremely difficult. This paper reports on the application of Model-Based Systems Engineering techniques common in the aerospace and automotive industries to tighten up the accuracy, traceability, and accountability for the rig-level safety automation design.
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Iversen F., Gressgård L.J, Thoroughgood J.L., Balov M.K., Hepsø V., (6-8 March 2012) Drilling Automation: Potential for Human Error. Paper presented at the 2012 IADC/SPE Drilling Conference and Exhibition held in San Diego, California, USA, 6-8 March 2012.
Ornaes J.I., (2-4 February 2010) Closed-Loop Control for Decision-Making Applications in Remote Operations. Paper presented at the 2010 IADC/SPE Drilling Conference and Exhibition held in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, 2-4 February 2010.
Thoroughgood J.L., (6-8 March 2012) Automation in Drilling: Future Evolution and Lessons from Aviation. Paper presented at the 2012 IADC/SPE Drilling Conference and Exhibition held in San Diego, California, USA, 6-8 March 2012.